Turkey's top security board convenes amid operations in Syria

29 March, 2018, 01:35 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Turkey said northern Syrian town of Tal Rifaat would be the next target of its cross-border campaign

"Only progress on these issues will allow us to improve the EU-Turkey relations, including the accession process", he added.

European Union has promised to support the needs of the Syrian refugees in Turkey with a total of €6 billion in two tranches, but for technical reasons only €1.85 billion has been paid out until now. The EU has never fulfilled this promise.

Before arriving in Bulgaria, Mr Erdogan insisted "EU membership remains our strategic goal". This has all whipped up an increasingly acrimonious war of words and made Turkey's prospects of joining the European Union - an objective that Erdogan insisted earlier on Monday that Turkey still pursues - appear even more remote.

Juncker said the summit was one of "mixed feelings but not mixed messages", adding: "It was a good meeting because as this is the normal principle between big democracies, we were able to talk in all frankness and openness".

Turkey will not hesitate to act if Syrian Kurdish militia, seen as a terrorist outfit by Ankara, do not leave the town of Manbij, the country's top National Security Council, MGK, said late on Wednesday.


The statement also says Yildrim assured al-Abadi that Turkey won't "launch operations without Iraqi government consent". Afrin was controlled by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which is linked to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"It would be a grave mistake for Europe, which claims to be a global force, to push Turkey out of its expansion policy", he said. "On sensitive issues such as the struggle against terrorism, we don't expect unnecessary criticism but strong support".

"I hope we have put this hard period [in relations] behind us", Erdogan said at the news conference, adding: "Rather than unfair criticism, we expect robust support ..." But we are concerned that some of the methods used undermine fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in Turkey.

The two Greek military officials held in Turkey for nearly four weeks will remain in custody for the time being, according to the decision by a Turkish prosecutor on Tuesday, Skai TV reported.

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